Local police forces replaced by new national force

At midnight today, Scotland’s eight police forces officially merged into one national body known as Police Scotland.

Local forces, such as Lothian & Borders Police, have disappeared in name - although local headquarters remain. J Division, covering the Lothians and Borders, is based in Dalkeith.

The new national force, employing more than 17,000 police officers, is now the second largest in the UK, after London’s Metropolitan Police.

The merger was designed by the Scottish Government to increase operational effectiveness and to save money. Critics of the plans are worried about the effects of centralisation, and say it will lead to civilian job losses.

But others insist the national force will not damage local policing priorities, given that a policing plan has been drawn up for each of Scotland’s 353 local council wards.

Scotland’s eight fire and rescue service also merge today, into the national Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.

More information on Police Scotland is available at: www.scotland.police.uk

You can also find out more about policing in Midlothian at: http://www.scotland.police.uk/your-community/the-lothians-and-scottish-b...